To the Editor:

Hilton Head Audubon is reaching out to students in nearby schools to encourage them to be citizen scientists. Teams of HHA members have presentations planned for eight public and private local schools to provide opportunities for students and teachers to participate in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), planned worldwide for Feb. 14-17.

Two presentations have already been given, at Island Academy on Hilton Head Island and at Bluffton Middle School. Others are coming up for Cross School in Bluffton, Hilton Head Prep, HHI Elementary, HHI Middle School, Beaufort Middle and McCracken Middle Schools. Several outdoor bird walks have been scheduled to follow the in-class lessons.

Along with the data collection and field experiences, Hilton Head Audubon hopes to instill a desire for students to be good stewards of our natural world.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. Participants are asked to count birds for as little as 15 minutes on one or more days of the four-day event and report their sightings online at

Anyone can take part in the Great Backyard Bird Count, from beginning bird watchers to experts.

Each checklist submitted during the GBBC helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how birds are doing, and how to protect them and the environment we share. For more information, visit

Lois Lewis

Education Chair, Hilton Head Audubon